Zinc Deficiency And Seizures In Huskies

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Jhett Husky

This week I have been discussing the implications of Zinc Deficiency and Malabsorption in Huskies. Today I will be discussing another issue that has its roots firmly planted in Zinc Deficiency and Malabsorption, seizures in Huskies.

Whether your dogs have been diagnosed as having Epilepsy or Idiopathic Seizures, there is no more heartbreaking sight than to be forced to stand by helplessly watching your Husky convulsing on the floor having a seizure.

I will be discussing what seizures are, how Zinc plays a part in this issue for Huskies, and I will give you interventions that you can use to either lessen your dog’s condition.

There Has To Be A Better Way

You may know, one of my Siberian Huskies, Jhett, was diagnosed with Idiopathic Seizure activity when he was 14 months old. When I took him to the Vet, she determined that he did most likely have a Gran Mal seizure. I was certain he had a Gran Mal seizure because Jhett was not my first Husky to have seizures.

My very first Husky, over thirty years ago, also had seizures, but Misty really did not start having seizures until she was five years old. I did not start medicating her until she was the age of seven. I had hoped that I would never have to be dealing with this issue again. Yet here I was, standing in the Vet’s office, and hearing the same few tired options.

The Same Old Thing

How was it that in over 30 years of medical advancements this condition in huskies was no better understood? Nor were there any real advances made as far as solutions to this problem were concerned? Are all Husky owners just relegated to being at the mercy of this condition? Why does nobody offer new answers or information as to what we can do to save our dogs from this fate?

I was not satisfied hearing the old tired pat answer of “predisposed” being tossed around by the Veterinary Community. Vets will tell you that Epilepsy is not a genetic condition. Yet breeders and experienced husky owners will tell you that this condition does tend to run in certain lines. So if there is no gene marker for this condition, then why does it run in certain lines? There has to be some explanation as to why this happens in a portion of these dogs. If this condition is not genetically linked, then there must be something that we can do to prevent this condition from manifesting in our dogs.

Searching For Answers

With my first Husky, I followed my Vet’s instructions and medicated my dog. I used Phenobarbital after the seizures started happening more frequently. I had no appreciation for how lucky I was with my dog because she only needed a small amount of this drug daily. Not everyone is so lucky. It did, however, take its toll on her liver. She passed away at eleven years old. I feel the effect of the meds reduced her life expectancy.

Jhett being only 14 months old I was reluctant to start medicating with anticonvulsive drugs. I decided that if the Vet could not give me better answers, I would have to find them myself.

And so began a 4-month long regime of looking for answers from everywhere. I read breeder blogs, asked questions, looked for patterns. I compared notes, read books on genetics, biology, animal husbandry, homoeopathy, and medicine. Determined to find answers to how this non-genetic condition manifests itself like an inherited disease in our Snow Dogs.

I have a diverse background in Science and Alternative Medicine. This allowed me to start slowly and painstakingly start piecing together a picture of what is truly at the root of this issue. This is where I first started to make the zinc deficiency and malabsorption connection. I realised how pervasive and important this issue is for this breed of dog.

Zinc And Seizures

In the other two articles, Zinc Deficiency: The Hidden Cause Of Chronic Sickness In Huskies and Correcting Zinc Deficiency In Huskies, I discussed the issue of how a lack of Zinc causes so many of the medical problems that can plague Huskies.

Epileptic Seizures or Idiopathic Seizures are one those conditions that can be caused by insufficient available Zinc to complete body processes. The “end of the line” body process calls for Zinc to be present to help with Taurine ( an amino acid) uptake, which among other things, works to smooth over neurotransmitters in the brain. When Taurine cannot do its job due to a lack of available Zinc, the outcome over time is the brain starts firing irritated electrical impulses randomly and erratically. This is a very simplified description of a seizure.

In the other articles, I also described how there are two major issues for Zinc Deficiency in Huskies: either there is an insufficient amount of Zinc contained in the Husky diet via poor quality food, OR there are sufficient quantities of Zinc in the body, but it cannot be properly absorbed in the intestine and utilized by the body. Both cases result in Zinc not being available to fully supply the daily amounts needed to complete all the body processes. Long term Zinc Deficiency is a powerful catalyst for many of the common medical conditions that exist in Huskies and Malamutes, one of those conditions being Seizures.

My Husky Had A Seizure. Now, What Do I Do?

If your dog has had a seizure event, your Vet will want to make an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, seizure activity is diagnosed oddly. The Vet will test to rule out other contributing factors for the seizures. If they do not find evidence of other underlying factors, then Idiopathic Seizure activity becomes the diagnosis. Once the seizures begin happening with some regularity (more often than once a month), then the diagnosis changes from Idiopathic (seizures with unknown causes) to that of Epilepsy. For the diagnosis of Epilepsy to be made, the seizures must happen often, and the episodes must be similar in nature.

If your dog has begun to have seizures, you will want to start keeping a detailed log about your dog’s seizures. Document the date, the dog’s behaviours leading up to the seizure, a description of the actual seizure, and the dog’s behaviours after the seizure.

What Is A Seizure?

A seizure is a temporary convulsion due to erratic and uncontrolled bursts of neurological firings in the brain. These firings can be localized and show up in just one limb or the face, or they can affect the whole body causing twitching, paddling, or jerking of the limbs.

Different Types Of Seizures

Grand Mal Seizure

The most recognized type of seizure is the Gran Mal Seizure. In this type of seizure, the whole body stiffens and alternatively contracts in cycles (tonic/clonic action). During these seizures, the dog will not be conscious, will drool, twitch, jerk, and it may urinate and defecate. These seizures can vary in length. They can also appear singly or in multiples called (clusters) where the animal’s twitching abates and then starts again into another seizure.

Partial Seizures

This kind of seizure originates in a localized area of the brain, so it tends only to involve limited regions of the body. There is no loss of consciousness, only loss of control of the affected body part.

Psychomotor Seizures

This kind of seizure manifests itself with the animal doing certain involuntary behaviours like whining, barking, howling, snapping at the air, or walking in circles. At times this Psychomotor Seizure may be followed by a full Generalized Grand Mal Seizure.

The Stages of Seizure

Most seizures follow a set pattern:

  1. First, many dogs become agitated or restless because they can feel that something is not right their body and their head (an aura). Some dogs try to hide, or they may seek out their owners to look for help. This stage is called the pre-ictal phase.
  2. The dog may start to tremble. His eyes may glaze over. He may jump up and start to grimace or twitch.
  3. If the dog is having a Grand Mal seizure, he will fall over on to his side, stiffen and begin to paddle his legs. He will twitch, convulse, and contort his body violently. His teeth will clench and clamp down. He will salivate, snort or gasp for air, and he may have trouble breathing. This stage, called the ictal stage, will last for varying amounts of time depending on the dog and his specific seizure pattern.
  4. At some point, the convulsing ceases and dog starts to regain consciousness (referred to as the postictal phase). However, he will not regain all of his senses right away. They may not be able to see well or hear for some time after the seizures. They will often pace, pant heavily, and seem extremely agitated and disoriented. The foggy state can last anywhere from an hour or up to two days.
  5. Once the postictal phase has passed, most dogs are exhausted and just want to sleep in a darkened room while their brain recovers from this experience.

How To Care For Your Dog During and After A Seizure

During

It is vitally important that you help keep your dog safe before and after this experience. Because a dog has no real control of his seizures, that means that when a seizure strikes, he will fall over and have the seizure regardless of where he is at the time. You may have to move the dog to a place where he can be safe while he has the seizure. Move him away from furniture that he can bang into. Move him to the floor so he will not fall off from furniture during the seizure. Make sure that there is nothing for him to get his teeth caught on during the seizure.

Jhett once had a seizure in his wire crate. He often ran to hide in his crate if he felt a seizure coming on. He fell over in his crate sideways, and his teeth clamped down on the wire bars of his crate as the seizure struck. Because of the violent nature of the convulsions, I had to dive into his crate with him (good thing it was a large crate) and hold his head as still as I could so that he would not break off his teeth during the thrashing that is associated with the convulsions.

After

After the convulsing stops and the dog begins to regain consciousness, you have to supervise them to keep them physically safe during the post-ictal stage. Because there can be some temporary blindness and deafness, these dogs can easily hurt themselves by running into walls, furniture, or by falling down the stairs but because these dogs will also feel the need to pace during this phase you really cannot just put them into their crates to keep them safe.

Barricade off any stairways and keep doors closed to keep them contained to a small area of the house and allow them to pace until they are ready to stop.

At this time, you may need to administer drugs or remedies to the dog. Never try to place something into the dog’s mouth during the seizure. Your dog will clamp down on your fingers, and you may be injured. After a seizure, it helps to give the brain some much-needed energy so you can rub some honey his gums. When the trashing stops, just lift the skin on his lips and rub honey on his gums.

Cold packs on the back of the neck can help cool your dog down if he’s too warm.

When the dog is ready to lie down and rest, he will appreciate a quiet darkened room or crate. Bright light and noise are not welcomed by a brain that just had a seizure. Also, make sure to monitor your dog to make sure that he is breathing easier and that another seizure is not about to happen. Some dogs’ seizure pattern includes clustering so they may have several seizures in a row with little or no break in between.

Jhett’s Final Seizure

While it is believed that most seizures are not lethal for your dog, some are. In April of 2014, after being seizure-free for a record 89 days, Jhett had a seizure while he was sleeping on the couch. I ran to help him, but instead of his normal seizure pattern, he began to have back to back a cluster of seizures.

He had a cluster of 13 seizures in under 30 minutes, and he died in my arms. I had no chance to take him to the hospital or to say goodbye to him. I felt helpless and useless as stood by watching him have seizure after seizure. Jhett endured 33 seizures (not counting the final 13) in the 4.5 years of his young life.

Common Treatment Protocols Offered By Veterinary Medicine

It may come as a surprise to many owners of Epileptic dogs that the use of anticonvulsant drugs rarely eliminates seizures. The intent of using a therapeutic drug protocol is merely to attempt to reduce the frequency and the intensity of the seizures so that a dog can live a more comfortable life. There is no “cure” for this condition. It can only be managed.

Drugs that your Vet may consider using for your Epileptic Husky:

Phenobarbital is probably the most commonly prescribed barbiturate drug. This drug can take a few weeks to build up blood levels where it can suppress seizures in your dog. This drug is not without side effects. It has a sedative effect on your dog, and it tends to collect in the liver and can cause liver damage. If your dog is taking this drug, regular blood tests will need to done to check your dog’s liver function. This drug also tends to cause excessive thirst and appetite in the dogs who take this medication.

Owners are shocked by discovering that 20% to 30% of dogs’ seizures cannot be controlled by only using Phenobarbital. They may also need to use Potassium Bromide, a long-acting benzodiazepine. This drug will be given in addition to Phenobarbital if blood levels show that the Phenobarbital alone has not been effective at stopping the seizures. Potassium Bromide alone is less effective at treating seizures but is not known to cause liver damage though there is evidence that this drug can cause hind end leg stiffness.

It is believed that 25% to 30% of dogs who take a combination of Phenobarbital and Potassium Bromide will still not have their seizures completely controlled by these drugs. If your Husky is still having seizures, your Vet may suggest using some of these other anti-seizure drugs:

  • Primidone
    A drug that gets converted to Phenobarbital in the bloodstream but has more side effects than the Phenobarbital, and it is more expensive.
  • Dilantin
    Used in human Epilepsy but has only a limited function in treating epilepsy in dogs. It works in the same way that Valium does. It is not recommended for long term use in dogs.
  • Clorazepate
    This drug is related to Diazepam and works in emergencies when seizing is out of control. There is a tolerance that will be developed, so dosage will need to be constantly increased.
  • Felbamate
    While it is low in side effects, it is costly as it requires multiple daily doses.
  • Gabapentin
    Another expensive drug that requires multiple daily doses.
  • Levetiracetam
    This has minimal side effects but is also expensive due to the multiple daily dosing requirements.
  • Zonisamide
    Sulfa class anti-seizure drug that can work well with more traditional therapies. It has many of the same side effects that you would come to expect from other sulpha drugs.

Alternative Treatment Protocols For Treating Or Managing Seizures

There are many supplements that you may wish to consider giving your Epileptic Husky. Many of these can be given in conjunction with anti-convulsive medications. Always check with your Vet for possible drug interactions.

Fish oil

Can be added to your dog’s diet. Essential Fatty acids help with good brain functioning. Anything that allows your Husky’s brain to function more optimally is likely to be helpful in this situation. You can safely add 1000mgs – 1200mgs of fish or krill oil to your dog’s diet.

Taurine

Supplement to help with calming down synaptic firings in the brain. You can try adding 500mgs – 1000mgs of L-Taurine to your dog’s daily diet.

Zinc

Add to your dog’s diet to help bring available levels up in the body. Use picolinate, gluconate, chelated forms or methionine forms. Avoid sulphate or oxide forms. Starting dosages are 25 mg per 50 pounds of dog weight given once daily. These dosages can be incrementally increased to 50mgs and then up to 100mgs given once daily. Mild Zinc toxicity starts at just over 200 mg as a one time dose. Lethal toxic doses begin at 900 mg.

Other options

You may wish to add nutraceutical products that add Zinc to the diet like Zinpro and Nutrazinc.

Also consider using a herbal combination like Neuroplex, to aid in brain functioning.

Many Homeopathic Remedies work to support brain functioning. Still, because Homeopathy works very specifically with individual constitutions, you really should consult a qualified Homeopathic Doctor to help you choose the best remedy that matches your Husky’s presenting constitutional issues.

My long time good friend and Jhett’s doctor is Dr Terezihna Jones. Dr Jones has many years of experience in this field, and she also teaches Homeopathy for the British Institute of Homeopathy. Many consults can be done over the telephone and remedies will be mailed out to you usually the same day. You can contact Dr Jones here, https://www.facebook.com/ZihnasLight.

Canine Chiropractors are often not thought of when it comes to Epilepsy, but due to the violent nature of the convulsions, the neck and head are often out of alignment. Nearly everyone who has violent seizures will have C1 jammed up into Axis in the skull. When the spine is out of alignment, it interferes with how electric impulses travel in the body.

Diet Considerations

You are what you eat holds true for dogs too. To make sure that the brain functions optimally, a good diet is a must. Foods should be high-quality food, with good protein sources, no animal by-product, and no chemical preservatives.

As wheat, corn and soy, create phytates in the digestion and phytic acid binds to Zinc, making it unavailable to the body, these grains should be removed from your Husky’s diet.

Make sure that you add lots of foods that naturally high in Zinc. A detailed list of these foods can be found in my article, Correcting Zinc Deficiency In Huskies.

Lastly, if you are feeding an all Raw Diet or a Home Cooked Diet make sure that you understand how to feed a diet that is properly balanced in vitamins and minerals to avoid creating a zinc deficiency in your dog. Please refer to my article, The Husky Diet: Raw Food and Cooked Homemade Diets for more information on this topic.

Prevention Rather Than Management

Once your Husky has this condition, you are now relegated to managing it as there is no known cure. You can use one of the many protocols listed above to help manage your dog’s condition. You may even be lucky enough that a management protocol will be enough to keep your dog from having more seizures. However, if your dog has this condition, he will ALWAYS be predisposed to Zinc Deficiency, and this will make him predisposed to having seizures.

The best way to avoid the heartache of being relegated to your managing this disease in your Husky is to avoid the circumstances that yield Zinc Deficient Huskies. Prevention of this condition is crucial to having a healthy husky. If you are thinking of obtaining a Husky and it comes from one of the following situations, rethink your purchase!

Prevention Of Predisposition To Zinc Related Issues Is The Key

  • The only way to prevent a dog from being predisposed to Zinc issues and for seizures is not to pass on the condition of predisposition.
  • Never breed dogs that have seizures in their lines. Scientific test breeding of epileptic dogs was done, and it showed that 38% of dogs born to one epileptic parent also had the condition. And 100% of the dogs born to two epileptic parents were also epileptic. These dogs should never be used for breeding. If the breeder is breeding known epileptic Huskies, walk away very quickly from the deal. No deal is worth having to manage a sick dog.
  • Never buy puppies from lines that have Epilepsy in them. Reputable breeders don’t produce poor quality puppies but unscrupulous breeders to sell these dogs. Do your homework and run a check on the breeding lines before purchasing a puppy from a breeder.
  • Never buy dogs from inexperienced backyard breeders or puppy mills. Your puppy’s health will only be as good as the health of the parent. If the Mother is fed a Zinc poor diet, the puppies are automatically going to be predisposed to having a Zinc Deficiency and all the conditions that go along with this condition. That means that when you buy a poorly bred Husky, you are automatically in danger of buying a dog who will also be predisposed to having seizures.
  • Before committing to buying a dog from a breeder, ask about the diet he feeds his Huskies. If he feeds a diet full of grains, a poor quality diet, or a Zinc poor diet, pass on buying a dog from them. These puppies will most likely be predisposed to Zinc Deficiency.

How To Spot A Husky Who Is Predisposed To Zinc Deficiency

The common characteristics of Huskies that are predisposed to Zinc Deficiency:

  • The Husky may be smaller in size than is considered normal for the breed. It may be very fine-boned. This occurs because Zinc Deficiency is related to the incidence of Dwarfism.
  • The Husky has constant issues with digestion, elimination, or with feeble appetite or a failure to thrive.
  • The coat is dry, brittle, or patchy instead of deep, soft, and luxurious.
  • The Husky has raised crusty patches of dermatosis around the nose, eyes, mouth, groin area, or on the paw pads.
  • The husky has thyroid issues.
  • The husky has seizures.

What You Can Do To Prevent Your Husky From Becoming Zinc Deficient

If your Husky shows no signs of being Zinc Deficient here are some things to do to keep them from becoming Zinc Deficient:

  • Feed your Husky a breed appropriate diet right from the start.
  • Make sure that the protein sources in his diet come from whole meat and not from meat by-product. Use no food that is filled with chemicals and preservatives.
  • Feed foods that are naturally high in Zinc so that your Husky never falls into Zinc deficit.
  • Feed a no grain diet as wheat, corn, and soy make Zinc unavailable to the body.
  • Be an informed Snow Dog Owner. Know the special requirements of this breed to prevent problems from ever happening in the first place.

It is my fondest hope that this series of articles serves to inform the public about the devastating effects of Zinc Deficiency in Huskies and Malamutes. If I can prevent this horrible condition from manifesting itself in your Snow Dog, then Jhett’s condition will serve a higher purpose.

RIP Jhett

As always, we welcome your comments, questions, and stories on this topic. When we share our wisdom and our stories, we may well be helping someone who is struggling with their Snow Dog.

Helping ALL Snow Dogs … one owner at a time.

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61 COMMENTS

  1. My friend has a beautiful husky named Neko . He has had two seizures for sure and we are hoping he can get through the month without having another. He just turned 8yrs old and has been healthy. The seizures make his eyes dart around and his body goes limp, they lasted a minute or so, and his able to get up quickly, and go like nothing happened. We are watching him closely, and documenting the seizures. What would you say are some foods we can start feeding him? He has not been to the vet at this point. We don’t want him on toxic medicine.

  2. Thank you Hannah   –  I am aware of this report and have a saved copy on my computer.   However Marley is raw fed and I know exactly how much zinc he gets each day, he shows no sign of deficiency and it has been ruled out as a cause of his epilepsy.

  3. Our daughter’s Siberian Husky, 3 years old, had her first seizure yesterday as she awoke from a nap. We had no idea about the susceptibility of seizures in Huskies. It was a scary thing as we watched her seize. It wasn’t Gran Mal but she curled in a fetal position and trembled on her side. Taken to the Vet ER, all vitals are great and will await blood test results. Thank you for providing in depth information about seizures in Huskies.

  4. Hi all, My Husky Bain was a year and 7 months old when he started having seizures 3 to 5 times a month. Honestly it freaked me out, as i wasn’t aware that this could happen to a dog, I’ve never even seen it happen to a human. Our vet was on holiday, So i did some extreme researching and watched allot of YouTube videos to make sure i know exactly what to do when this happens. Really it made me feel powerless to watch my Fur Child go through this and i can’t make it stop. Well i did make it stop!!! I decided to get him some vitamin Zinc 22mg in tablets cruched that up in his wet food every second day, with some omega 3,6 and 9 oil. And abit of mj aka weed , crush it up like parsley ans sprinkle that over his food once a week, just a little tip of a teaspoon. (i read it helps with the brain stem and muscles around the neck, spine and brain area) . I did this for a month, gradually slowing down to three times a month. He never had a seizure after that. His healthy, happy and super active. I do hope this helps some of your dogs as its a very painful and horrid experience for them and you.

  5. Our Siberian Husky Coda started having fits 5 years ago the day after our other husky died. We did not think that this was related and have been giving him Levetriacet daily. The fits carried on at about 1 per month. otherwise he is in top condition. About 3 months ago we aquired a new Piebald husky, and at the same time I started giving Coda 22mg of zinc per day. He has not had a fit since the. I am not sure if this is coincidence or one or the other intervention. What ever he is very happy and still the best dog in the world. He is now 9 years old.

  6. Our husky girl started having seizures when she turned 3. They are grand mal cluster seizures. I remember the first episode started during a period of time when we had just moved into new house for two weeks, had a relative come visit and there was a strange weather pattern where it got bitterly cold and then very hot again. It was around New Year’s Eve. My husband was in hospital and I had to take to her to emergency vet on the holiday. They said to rule out any serious cause they needed 5000 to run tests but that more likely this is idiopathic epilepsy because she is otherwise healthy husky. She is large 55 lbs beautiful girl, quirky as usual. So I only had 100 on me and ten ER waived the office fee and gave me a bottle of clonozapam (sp?) to stop the seizures. Give every 8 hours until 24 hours seizure free. It made her so clumsy but it worked. After holiday then went to her regular vet and got her prescribe Keppra. Thank God for the community RX discount program to afford the Keppra extended release 2 times a day. For 1.5 years on Keppra she had a cluster attack every 3-4 months. Always trying to analyze the conditions which could trigger. She has about 10-20 cluster seizure, 1 grand mal seizures every 2-3 hours. Give her the clonozapam to stop the cycle. When it comes on she starts staring over her shoulder like in a trance and the falls over and does exactly as you described. The a postictal phase of pacing and ravenous behavior for 1-2 hours, then rest and then another seizure. The clonozapam slows the frequency to 5-8 hours between cluster seizure until after about 1.5 days she comes out of it. This pattern of cluster attack very 3-4 months recently culminated. We were reaching that point in time and she went into seizure again in morning. Husband administered the clonozapam and she recovered and did not have another seizure for 8 hours. That’s when I returned home from work. She was doing okay, perky and running around a little more frisky than normal. Husband thought it strange that cluster stopped so quickly. Not an hour later she went into seizure again. Then the full blown cluster attack started with grand mal seizure every 1-2 hours. Much more frequent and intense than normal. She also never went into normal postictal phase of pacing etc, instead she just laid there and had the seizures 1-2 hours for 16 hours until we could we get her into her vet. I had considered she might not make it long enough to see the vet. Had seizure in the car on way to vet. Curiously she calmed down and did not have seizure while at the vet (She does love going to the vet). The vet examined her and determined that she seems to be doing ok but need to add phenobarbital to her treatment. Does her heavily for 4 days and the take regularly with Keppra. We are on day 4 and she still can’t stand up. She wants to get up so badly. She paddles around the room. Having accidents because she can’t go outside. Whining and panting. She is eating and drinking well but eyes are fully dilated and she is confused. Hoping she regains more strength and recovery as we transition to the lower regular dosage in the coming days. I am going to thoroughly review all of your resources and give them a try whenever we can. It has helped very much to learn from your experience and connect with everyone else here that are caring for their epileptic pups. I relate very much with your experience as I had lost another dog Izzy 7 years ago to an aggressive cancer that took her in only 3 weeks from the time of diagnosis, she had a grand mal seizure and died in my arms too. She was an amazing dog, blue heeler, and always in my heart. Now I am caring for my 5 year old husky girl JoJo and try to get her stable and have good quality of life while managing her brother a 5 year old Boxer, which he is always concerned about his sister and thinks he is a husky because she taught him how to do husky behaviors. He is very depressed that she is not herself and still trying to play with her even though she can’t. God bless you all and love to you and your pups. Shalom!

  7. I have 2 huskys boy and girl my girl has had 3 fits since we had her at 6 months of age there was no pattern or time limit the firat two she had were mintues till she was back up and ok the last one was a week ago she was in it for over an hour we took her the vets who ran a blood test and checked her stomach and they came back clear and could not diagnose her with anyrhing till theae become more frequent she is now 7. I am co stantly worried this is going to happen again and i would like some help of what i can do to help her with not knowing her diagnosis if she has another one could anyone shed any light please

  8. I have 2 huskys a male and female both 6 yrs old brother and sister. The male has been having granmal seizures. I feel so helpless and it makes me cry while watching this happen. Vet had him on the phemobarbital meds but didn’t work at all I use to feed them off brand dog food ( petpride ). Now I’ve have them on Pedigree will that dog food help him and y ain’t his sister having them? I love them very much and it tears me apart to see that happen.

  9. Thank you for writing this, my husky has lived 8 very healthy years and just had a 10 minute gran maul seizure. We have never experienced anything like this before and so it was nearly as intense for us a it was for her. Your article is calming and informative. Appreciate it very much.

  10. My Husky is two years old and has had several events. Only recently he’s been fine but today (25/07/2018) he has had multiple Seizures. My parents are contemplating to have him put down and I’m on the fighting side to get REAL medical help from a Vet. I’m scared and in tears of losing him because he is my first dog. Please help me. I need to figure out how to manage this as soon as possible before the unthinkable is done.

  11. Thank you for this article. About a year and a half ago I adopted my husky Goose from a breed specific shelter. At the time she was eight months old after three to four weeks of having her I noticed while she was sleeping that she was kinda running in her sleep I thought she was dreaming.. I called her name she woke up and it didn’t happen again until about five to six months after she turned a year old where she had a cluster event. During this event she had over 20 seizures in an 48 hour period. Since then she’s been medicated and has only had a hand full of break through seizures. So here’s my question… Goose only has seizures in her sleep and they are always at night. She’s only had one waking seizure and that was during her cluster event. Has anyone ever heard of this and is this a sign of anything I need to be prepared for or can help her with?

    • My husky is the same. However, we got her to into emergency after the 5th seizure (clustered – every 2-3 hrs). She has been diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy and is currently on Keppra 3 times a day which is very costly (1 month supply of keppra is the almost the monthly minimum wage in my country). She havent had any seizures under keppra (2 weeks).. but im looking at alternatives… How is Goose? Did you manage to try zinc supplements?

  12. I have a 12 year old Siberian Husky. I’m pretty sure he had a seizure yesterday. The only thing I’m not sure about is he didn’t show any of the typical postictal phase responses. Seconds after the episode, which happened outside, he walked back into the house on his own and I gave him a treat (for which he was super excited for like always). As for the seizure itself he definitely looked like a Grand Mal seizure. Either way, it has been recorded and I’ll be sure to watch out for another one.

  13. My husky just had his first seizure, he is almost two, I am thankful for all the information you have put up.

  14. I don’t know if I’ve left a reply to this before.
    I have a giant malamute, she now weighs about 15 stone and is an unbelievably loyal dog, everywhere I go she is by my side.
    She has had 7 seizures, she is 5 in March.
    This ONLY happens when she vomits bile.
    She’ll try to vomit, if we can stop that, we stop the seizure.

    The vets were clueless, so our family took it on ourselves to manage it, we make sure we try to get some food inside her ASAP every day.
    If she won’t eat, we give her a little ice cream to stimulate her taste buds and to lift her blood sugar levels, this works most of the time.
    On the odd occasion where she won’t entertain anything I force 2mm of pepto bismal in her mouth via a small syringe.
    As a result of her condition holidays abroad are on the backburner and it’s off to a log cabin with the dogs.

    Hope this Can help someone with similar problems.

    • We have the same situation. Our 2year 9 month old husky also gets seizure when he vomits bile. Hows your dog now ? Did you get any medication. how often the seizures are now ?

      • Mika has been seizure free for about 18- 24 months now.
        Go to your vets and get a 1.5mm syringe.
        Buy a large bottle of gaviscon or similar antacid for adults and give your dog 1.5mm every morning as soon as you get up.
        This will dilute the acid in his stomach.
        With mika, if she doesn’t vomit bile, she has no seizure.
        She is 6yrs and 3 months old now.
        If mika doesn’t eat straight away then I give her a small scoop of ice cream, then she eats ok.
        If your dog only has seizures after vomiting bile, then this WILL work, trust me, it did for me.
        Good luck.

        • Thanks a lot ! I am so glad to hear about Mika. Love from Summer and Saurabh. Hope we could connect more if possible. Finding someone who had seen same weather is so helpful and brings the ray of hope for us. If possible, mail me on er.saurabhsharma1991 [at] gmail.com

  15. Thank you for all the information. you have been very helpful. I have a 1 year old husky who stated having seizures a few months ago. I feel terrible for her. We have not put her on any medication yet. Not sure if we will or not. We don’t want to ruin her liver. It’s something new to me so reading your post was very helpful. The picture of your dog is beautiful. Thank you so much.

  16. My heart hurts for you and your Jhett. I appreciate all this research greatly. You turned this into something that can help prevent huskies from all over the world from suffering the same fate. I relate to this so much. My 5 (almost 6) year old husky passed away 5 days ago due to the same type of seizure activity as yours. His name was Jett, so my heart warmed when I read your huskies name. It’s still too soon now, but we would love to be husky parents again one day. I am going to take all this into consideration and fight twice as hard to make sure my baby has a seizure free life. I’m depressed and alone, he was my everything, my therapy. This article gives me hope for the future. No dog should have to just “deal” or “manage” a life with this illness. Thank you.

  17. Thank you so much for this article. We lost our first beautiful husky at 18 mo. He had medical problem after medical problem.From about 4 months of age, starting with Panosteitis ( growing pains) to a sensitive system. And eventually seizures and ultimately heart failure. And of course my vet had no answers for us except “It just happens”. I now feel like I have closure and am so happy I can give my two new pups a healthy life.

  18. It’s been almost a year now since I rescued my 6 year old Husky Charlie and on the day his owner left him at my job (I’m a dog groomer) I was told he was epileptic. At first it was only on Sundays at 11am every 2 weeks he’d have 1 seizure and then he’d come out of it. The meds his old owner had given me seemed to not be working so we took him to our local VCA they didn’t tell us much as to what was the cause or how to really help him but they have us his 500mg prescription for Zonicimide he takes 2 tablets twice a day so 2000 mg everyday and he still has them
    Recently his episodes have gotten worse lasting he will have the episodes over a span of 3 days every 2 to 3 weeks and the episodes last for 15 minutes once an hour during those 3 days. Sometimes it will stop for a few hours but like today he went 8 hours seizure free and he has just had 2 full episodes since being in my room with me.
    Before he wouldn’t show signs of aggression just mild confusion and the need to pace. His last 3 episodes since mid April he has developed these boughts of aggression whether it’s before or after the seizure he has gone after me seeing as usually I will sit on the floor and talk to him, pet him during the event. Unfortunately today’s aggression was not accompanied by a seizure he was walking Infront of me, stopped, looked back at me and as I went to pass by him he went after me.
    In the year that I have had him he doesn’t act like a normal husky (or what I feel is normal as I see a lot doing what I do) he doesn’t bark, doesn’t pull, most of the time he is sleeping next to me or somewhere close by and has a gentle nonconfrontational attitude toward everything. He doesn’t even react to other dogs.
    I have asked my vets about treatment and how the episodes can be controlled so his life isn’t ruled by his condition but they were at a loss really and only said he’d have to come in for testing and quoted us another $7,000 bill for that testing that may or may not help his condition.
    We’re at a bit of a loss and I still medicate him with the Zonicimide but I’ve almost given up hope on the meds honestly working. He’s my brave boy and I hate to see him go through this or the hospitalization for treatment. I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder a few months after I had brought him home and he’s been there for me as best he could every step of the way and I honestly feel powerless seeing him go through it and his becoming so much worse.

  19. Margit ,

    This is really a very very helpful site/article that you have here. My boy Zeev have been having seizures for the a few months now . he is 17 months old . we just witnessed his third seizure this morning .

    I have most of your articles hear and made sure read every comment too ,so i don’t miss out on any essential /important detail from any other Husky parents.

    MY husky zeev occasionally has a ear twitch sort of thing . His two ears are most of the time standing up , but occasionally his ear twitches and instead of pointing up it points almost horizontally with an angle . This stays for about 20- 40 minutes . He kind of struggles when this happens , trying to rub his ear . I massage the back of his ear and head and sometimes that works and is back to normal again and sometimes he has to take his own time to bring it back to normal.

    Have any one noticed this kind of behavior with your husky . Is this normal , or is this any nerve related issue or anything related to seizure.


    Indu

    • Also , we occasionally notice Zeev having yellow foam vomits early in the morning . We always thought it was because of hunger pangs , he is a very picky eater and never enthusiastically finish his meals .. we have to lure him and keep changing addons/toppings to get him to eat hi food.

      Are the yellow vomits — hunger pangs or anything related to zinc deficiency ?

  20. Hi, great article, I have a malamute bitch, she has just had her 7th seizure 30 minutes ago.
    She’s a giant malamute at least 14 stone ( I can’t pick her up )

    Mika started having seizures about 6 months old, she’s 4 in February.
    It all starts with her vomiting bile,after the bile, the collapse,then the convulsions.

    We have tried to manage this the best we can without medication, we find that if we manage to get some food in her asap to soak the bile up she’s OK.
    We went 18 months without 1, then 2 in the last month.
    Malamute’s are a totally different breed to siberians,we also have a husky and have had 4 huskies previously.
    She’s a very picky eater, sometimes I have to rub ice cream inside her mouth to stimulate her taste buds to get her to feed.
    We cannot leave mika with anyone as they do not know of her condition and how to deal with it.
    On her 3rd seizure I foolishly left my fingers in her mouth and she clamped down resulting in 8 black nails, 14 puncture wounds and 3 months of tetnus injections.

    She is the most amazing dog we have ever had, funny,loving and so clever, knocks the keys in the back door and sits outside the chew cupboard waiting for a treat.

    We know 1 day she won’t come out of it but we soldier on and hope that 1 day they will stop.

    • We have the same situation. Our 2year 9 month old husky also gets seizure when he vomits bile. Hows your dog now ? Did you get any medication. how often the seizures are now ?

  21. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! My roommates 10 month old huskie Falcor just had his first seizure Friday and another today. A good friend of mine sent me a link to this article and I couldn’t be more grateful. I am sure tha Jhett is looking down on you and so proud that even to this day your words are helping other owners of these amazing snow dogs❤️

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